LeBron James received another huge honor this past Monday by being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. This is now the 44th time for the reigning MVP, which is also an NBA record. James, after starting slightly sluggish through the first five games of the season, went on a complete tear this week, averaging 34 points per game, shooting 70 percent from the field and 62 percent from beyond the arc in wins over the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats.
This is nothing new for James, in terms of carrying the offensive load. He did it his entire career while playing in Cleveland and does so every now and then with the Heat. Injuries and suspensions led to James playing a lot more aggressively on the offensive end, but with key players Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers all returning on Tuesday night, we should see James’ statistics become a little more balanced.
It is a good sign that James is playing this aggressively this early in the season. Championship hangover is real, and so many quality teams have let this lazy characteristic define how they play throughout the course of a season following a ring. This is why winning multiple consecutive championships is such a feat. Most teams don’t have the willpower or motivation to keep pushing so hard for so long.
This season will define James’ legacy whether he wants to admit it or not. Even with two championship rings in tow, achieving Michael Jordan status requires winning at least three straight. The Heat have arguably one of the deepest rosters the league has ever seen. Even with that kind of depth, James will still have to do most of the heavy lifting and carry his team on his back across the finish line.